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Zimbabwe's T20 World Cup hopes take a major blow

by Staff reporter
26 Nov 2023 at 14:41hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE'S T20 World Cup 2024 qualification hopes took a major blow after Uganda beat them with five wickets and five balls in hand at Windhoek.

Zimbabwe had struck early to reduce Uganda to 12-2 before Alpesh Ramjani launched a counterattack, hitting four fours and two sixes in a 26-ball 40 out of a partnership of 49.

After Sean Williams snared Ramjani, one-drop batter Roger Mukasa hung around for a 33-ball 23 before Wesley Madhevere ran him out, leaving Uganda at 95-4.

At this point Dinesh Nakrani joined Riazat Ali Shah, and the pair added 38 in only four overs to help Uganda inch closer to a famous win. With a 28-ball 42 (five fours, one six), Ali Shah, in particular, played a key role.

Uganda needed 30 in the last three overs, but Ali Shah and Nakrani (14 not out in 10 balls, one four, one six) took 20 in the 18th over, bowled by Tendai Chatara, to swing the match in Uganda's favour. By the time Richard Ngarava dismissed Ali Shah, it was too late.

Captain Sikandar Raza came to defend three in the last over, but the first ball went for four byes, sealing the match.

The defeat was a major blow for Zimbabwe, who had also lost their tournament opener. Hosts Namibia had restricted them to 132-8 and won with seven wickets and 32 balls in hand.

With two points from three matches, Zimbabwe are now fourth in the points table, immediately below Uganda (four in three matches). Namibia (net run rate +2.896) and Kenya (+0.188) are on six points each. None of the three other teams – Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania – has won a match yet.

Earlier in the match, Zimbabwe had stuttered to 136-7 after Uganda captain Brian Masaba opted to bowl at the United Cricket Club Ground. They were 71-4 after 12 overs before Raza slammed 48 in 39 balls (two fours, four sixes). For Uganda, medium-pacer Nakrani returned 3-14 from his four overs.

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